Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting
October 3rd, 2013
12:01 PM ET
1 year ago

Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz got a lot of pushback from Republican colleagues during a closed-door meeting questioning his relentless effort to tie government funding to derailing Obamacare.

"Cruz was completely unapologetic about the ads that he is featured in on the Senate Conservatives Fund website that attack other Republicans. He sees himself as the only truly pure Republican. His colleagues are furious. He has no successful strategy but has managed to generate grass roots support for his position," one senior Republican source at Wednesday's meeting told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Cruz has urged Republicans in the House to stand firm and continue pushing any plan to fund the government to proposals aimed at curtailing the Affordable Care Act.

This summer, he appeared in ads produced by the Senate Conservatives Fund urging Republicans to push Congress to defund Obamacare.

This strategy has upset Senate Republicans and some House GOP members because some privately blame the freshman Texas lawmaker for causing the shutdown and boxing House Speaker John Boehner into a corner.

Cruz's spokesman did not have a response to reports of pushback during the Wednesday meeting. Cruz told Politico the media loves to cover internal Republican disagreements and "apparently some senators are content to fuel those stories with anonymous quotes."

Cruz also was unapologetic talking to conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham earlier Wednesday.

"We've had now three times, the House has endeavored to pass compromise bills that would keep the government funded, but at the same time would start to address the enormous harms that Obamacare is inflicting on the American people. And three times, Harry Reid has said 'no, absolutely not, I will not talk, I will not compromise, I will not do anything – no.' And as long as he maintains that absolutist position, both Reid and President Obama have said they won't even sit down to talk. They want a shutdown," he said.

At a previous meeting of Senate Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins spoke about some of the ads in Maine that said she was not conservative enough, blaming Cruz for helping to divide the party.

During the Wednesday session, many senators spoke out and aimed their comments directly at Cruz, the GOP source told Borger.

While Cruz initially drew the anger of some Republicans weeks ago when the House passed the first bill to keep the government operating only if Obamacare was defunded because Democrats controlled the Senate, he then staged a 21-hour talkathon last week trying to prevent the Obamacare provision from being removed. He lost that effort but helped cement his stature with the Republican base.

That caused some Republicans to go public with their consternation.

Asked why Boehner can't bring up for consideration any bill he wants, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, told CNN Wednesday night that the "leadership made a decision to take the position that we are going to take the Ted Cruz strategy, and we are not going to fund the government until we get rid of Obamacare."

Nunes blames Cruz for causing the GOP not to have a choice and causing a shutdown.

"John Boehner said we'll take this Ted Cruz strategy. You guys went out for two months, made these commitments. We'll take it. We'll implement it. And now, here we are, it's fully implemented. ... I think Ted Cruz is one of the best politicians that's come around in a long time. He's able to rally the base, he's got a lot of money … There's a lot of consultants making money off this and lots of TV ads going on. The problem with it is, it's one thing to be good at politics. It's another thing to be not good at strategy."

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, has previously called Cruz "a fraud" for his promises of defunding Obamacare. But other Republicans are not backing away from Cruz, including Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who is scheduled to hold an event with the senator on Saturday.

For Democrats, there is little question of who is in fact leading the anti-Obamacare effort and are eager to highlight Cruz's efforts.

"Senator Cruz is now a joint speaker," Reid said Thursday on the Senate floor. "He lectures the House on occasion as he does people over here."

Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement regarding Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus: "I think he probably has Speaker Cruz Boehner's number somewhere."

– CNN's Kevin Bohn and Bryan Koenig contributed to this story.


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • Ted Cruz
soundoff (508 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    @Jeff Brown in Jersey
    Where were all these debt minded "patriots" when Bush ran up the biggest deficit in our nation's history? Huh? I'm waiting? Nothing? (Crickets chirping)...

    ========

    They were campaigning for GW Bush , that's how Ted Cruz met his wife . They fleeced America and made billions on the Iraq war , look up Goldman Sachs received a $12.9 billion payout from the government's bailout of AIG, which was at one time the world's largest insurance company ,Goldman Sachs sped up delivery of $65m in stock awards to 10 execs, including DEO Blankfein, helping them avoid higher tax rates

    October 3, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. goo6er

    I didn't think I'd see an ego as enormous – and as enormously unjustified – as Sarah Palin's again in my lifetime. I was wrong.

    Cruz's supporters should put down their crayons and learn the meaning of the word "megalomaniac" because they'll be hearing it a lot.

    October 3, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Jim C Republican

    Why does Cruz remind me of another crazy Republican Senator from 60+ years ago. THAT Senator was eventually censured.

    October 3, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. rs

    Those of you who have been brainwashed to be against the Tea Party patriots don't realize that they are for everyone's freedoms.
    _______________
    Lets see: they are AGAINST: civil rights, women's rights, voters' rights, have few members who are Black, Latino, or Hispanic. They are anti-gay, certainly don't want to work with or listen to the majority of Americans... am I leaving anything out?

    October 3, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. RockInD

    This is more about a fight for control of the Republican Party than it is a fight between Republicans and Obama. Either somewhat moderate Republicans will win and the Tea Party will be out, or the Tea Party will take control of the Republican party. Right now, what was the Republican Party is backing down and yielding control to The Tea Party.

    October 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. rs

    Fair is fair

    Stand strong GOP !
    _________________
    They need to for their circular firing squad to be effective!

    October 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. JeffreyRO5

    The new Speaker of the House, Ted Cruz, is really not doing a very good job his first week in office!

    October 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. will never vote Republician again

    I just now got my Blue Cross monthly bill. They just RAISED my premium 33% And we don't need the Affordable Care Act? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    October 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Logic N LA

    Peter: Cruz is a Senator, not a Congressman, so he cannot be Speaker unless he steps back his position.
    This man must be a relative of Gove Perry. they act alike, they talk alike, and make bothh make about as much sense.

    October 3, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. cedar rapids

    Jeez, if they cant agree amongst their own side then what chance do they have to get something through that both sides can agree with?

    October 3, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. sNEEZY

    We don't want Cruz back in our country any more than you want him in yours....Send him back to....Mexico?

    October 3, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Brock_Vond

    Is it just me, or does Ted Cruz remind anyone else of the SNL character "Tim Calhoon"?

    When I first saw footage of his ...er, fillibuster, I thought it was a lost episode of SNL ...

    October 3, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Erroll

    There are people that HATE this President so much, that they will sacrifice their own children to make him look bad. An election was held twice. In 2008 and 2012. President Obama WON both elections. The voters have spoken. OBAMACARE is LAW. Deal with it. Get the government back to work, and programs for children and the elderly back on line. Another election is coming up. Instead of spending so much time UNDERMINING this President, and fighting his agenda, maybe those agitators...."political terrorists" should focus on the future. Maybe they should line up to run for the job if they think they can do better! Americans are tired of this crap from the Congress. They should respect the office even if they don't respect the man himself.

    October 3, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    A Humble Perspective

    To all brainwashed Democrats. It was government intervention in the healthcare market in the 1970's that put healthcare on its current course.
    -----------------
    Would you mind telling us what "government intervention in the healthcare market in the 1970s" that you are talking about? As far as I can recall, the only thing that may have had any negative effect on the cost of health care back then was malpractice insurance and the proliferatino of malpractice lawsuits.

    October 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. VotingBLKAmerican (yes were alive)

    WHAT A low class fool the repuks follow.

    October 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. FurloughedfedinVA

    Maybe the Senate should tack on a provision banning assault weapons in the version they pass in response to the next House CR that has a bunch of conservative garbage that they cannot get passed. It would give them something to negotiate with.

    October 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Phyllis Rhodes

    They have government funded healthcare in Canada. So why didn't Cruz learn from Canada that having healthcare for everyone is nothing new.

    October 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Wake up People!

    This is what happens when a once great party is too stubborn to accept change. Barack Obama was elected in November 2008 and the GOP lost it's mind. They never thought he even had a chance considering a large percentage of the population is still fighting the Civil War. Enter the Tea Party, a bunch of rich, bigoted racists that claim they want to "take their kuntry back". I'm still trying to figure out from whom??

    The GOP welcomed them so let them deal with them. You lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas!

    God bless you and keep you Mr. President!!

    October 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I"m sick to death of hearing the term "real republican" like it's some kind of royal bloodline. Since I am a moderate and no longer welcome in the party i'm now an independant. I wish someone would start a "real American" party that was more interested in making sure our whole country was fiscally/militarily and socially robust than worrying about catering to a small group of people with lots of money. Tea-bag America party will ruin this country if for no other reason than that they drive moderates away from republican candidates thereby insuring that democrats will run the show for a long time to come.

    October 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. AngryInTheMiddle

    I"m sick to death of hearing the term "real republican" like it's some kind of royal bloodline. Since I am a moderate and no longer welcome in the party i'm now an independant. I wish someone would start a "real American" party that was more interested in making sure our whole country was fiscally/militarily and socially robust than worrying about catering to a small group of people with lots of money. Tea-bag America party will ruin this country if for no other reason than that they drive moderates away from republican candidates thereby insuring that democrats will run the show for a long time to come.

    October 3, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Laverne

    quoting Sharron Angle of Nevada "someone may have to take him out"!

    October 3, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Joe Burkket

    I think the Tea Party should form a new political party, with the white supremacy thing, a photo of Mr. Cruz and Hitler and look for future voters and leave USA solve the real problems, jobs, health, education, security, etc.

    October 3, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Renae Field

    I would be very afraid if I were part of the Republican party when reelections comes around. Pointing fingers at the Democrats have really back fired. They are saying President Obama is not getting the job done. At the same time there are no real solutions being presented to the table. If you are not going to be part of the solution, then by all means please stop being the problem.

    October 3, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    Only in America

    October 3, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Gone

    States who support idiots like Cruz and Bachman will no longer get my hard earned vacation money.

    October 3, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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